Barbara Dobkin

Barbara Dobkin’s philanthropy and her ability to organize support for important causes has changed the landscape of Jewish women’s organizations in America and Israel. Dobkin began her work as a volunteer for causes affecting women, ranging from the League of Women Voters to the Yonkers battered women’s shelter. In 1994, Dobkin cofounded Ma’yan: the Jewish Women’s Project, to create better support for women’s needs and experiences in the Jewish community. Through Ma’yan, Dobkin organized feminist seders, ran conferences, and established a matching program to pair Jewish women philanthropists with Jewish feminist organizations that needed support. She helped catalyze a network of Jewish women’s organizations, funding issues from women’s spirituality to gay and lesbian inclusion to ending violence against women. She has served as the chair of Hadassah Foundation and founding chair of the Jewish Women’s Archive. An early supporter of gay and lesbian inclusion in the Jewish community, Dobkin cofounded one of the first groups for parents of gays and lesbians in the US, as well as an innovative program for gay and lesbian teens. She continues to fund, advise, and lead a wide array of organizations for Jewish women in Israel and America.


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Founding Chair of the Jewish Women’s Archive’s Board of Directors, Barbara Dobkin.

Photo courtesy of Joan Roth.

Date of Birth

Baltimore, MD
United States

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Barbara Dobkin." (Viewed on November 17, 2019) <>.


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